On the cusp

As we reach the end of summer here in Australia, I’ve been exploiting the  the effects of La Niña. With the Melbourne Art Book Fair approaching rapidly, I was hesitant to head out to make pictures but this Friday the weather was just right, so I exploited that and made pictures for a couple of hours.

google earth view of the are explored
google earth view of the are explored

I initially set out to make some pictures as teaching aids, but as I was on a bridge near the ring road, I decided to wander towards an aspect of the Maribrynong river that has always intrigued me.

I started under the EG Whitten bridge. A sad spot in so many ways. So much rubbish just dumped. I am unsure about the status of the land under the bridge as well. I know that the edges of rivers up to the high tide mark are considered crown land, but this land is well above that and also bordered by some private land. The western side of the river seems mostly private. This has been heavily impacted by trail bikes and other uses. This is the part I found most interesting. As the bike riders reshape the topography.

An early influence for me as a student of photography was Joe Deal’s work, The Fault Zone Portfolio, a group of 19 silver gelatin prints that documented suburban life along the San Andreas Fault Line in Southern California. This place reminds me of that except the forces at play are much more human in scale.

I only took digital equipment with me on this occasion. Given what I saw I’m sure a return visit is in order with at least my Hasselblad. It would be no mean feat to cary this equipment in, but more than worth it under the right lighting conditions.

Maribrynong River from the EJ Whitten Bridge
Maribrynong River from the EJ Whitten Bridge in 2019
Rubbish, and sticker art under the EJ Whitten Bridge
Rubbish, and sticker art under the EJ Whitten Bridge
Dirt Bike tracks litter the area
Dirt Bike tracks litter the area
Landfill to the left and natural landscape to the right
Landfill to the left and natural landscape to the right

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Author: s2

artist, picture maker, photobook creator

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